Family of Donal Walsh mark crusading boy's 17th birthday with mass
THE family of crusading teenager Donal Walsh today marked what would have been his 17th birthday with a mass.
The HSE is also showing his father Fionnbar, mother Elma and sister Jema the message the 16-year-old recorded shortly before his death as part of a mental health campaign that the family hopes will be rolled out to second-level schools.
As he faced terminal cancer, Donal's outspoken appeal to vulnerable young people to say no to suicide inspired the nation.
Today his family will also mark what would have been his 17th birthday with a month's mind Mass in St John's Church in Tralee at 3pm.
Donal's father, Fionnbar, said: "One of the amazing things about the passing of Donal has been his legacy.
"Since his passing, anonymous visits to his grave have been made by friends and strangers alike to pay their respects to 'Little ole Donal from Tralee, with a few stories & cobwebs thrown in', as he described himself in his own writings.
"It's as if Donal's death has not been in vain. Even if his words have saved one family from the trauma of suicide isn't that great."